Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 250-251


Pliny: Natural History

gustus, longiore caule, sed pergracili. usus ad eadem quae iridi.1


CII. aizoi duo genera: maius in fictilibus vasculis seritur, quod aliqui buphthalmon appellant, alii zoophthalmon, alii stergethron, quod amatoriis conveniat, alii hypogeson, quoniam in subgrundiis fere nascitur, sunt qui ambrosiam potius vocant et qui amerimnon, Italia sedum magnum aut oculum aut digitillum. alterum minusculum, quod erithales vocant, alii trithales, quia ter floreat, alii erysithales, aliqui isoetes, Italia sedum, atque2 aizoum utrumque, quoniam vireat semper, aliqui 161sempervivum. maius et cubiti altitudinem excedit, crassitudine plus quam pollicari. folia in cacumine linguae similia, carnosa, pinguia, larga suco, latitudine pollicari, alia in terram convexa, alia stantia, ita ut ambitu effigiem imitentur oculi. quod minus est in muris parietinisque et tegulis nascitur, fruticosum a radice et foliosum usque ad cacumen, foliis angustis, mucronatis, sucosis, palmum alto caule. radix inutilis.


CIII. Huic similis est quam Graeci andrachlen agrian vocant, Italia inlecebram, pusillis latioribus foliis et breviore cacumine. nascitur in petris et colligitur cibi causa. omnium harum vis eadem refrigerare


Book XXV

harsh, the stem longer than that of the other kind but very slender. It is used for the same purposes as the iris.

CII. Of the aizoüm there are two kinds, the Aizoüm for the eyes. larger of which is planted in earthen pots, and is sometimes called buphthalmos,a zoophthalmos,b stergethronc (because it is useful for love-philtres), hypogesond (for it generally grows under eaves), although some prefer to call it ambrosiae or amerimnonf; Italians call it great sedum, or eye, or little finger. The other kind is rather small, and is called erithales,g trithalesh (because it flowers three times), erysithales,i isoetes,j sedum by Italians, and both are called aizoüm, because they are always green, or sempervivum.k The greater aizoüm grows to even more than a cubit in height and is thicker than a thumb. At the point the leaves are like a tongue, fleshy, rich with copious juice, as broad as a thumb, some bent to the ground and others upright, so that the circle of them is like an eye in shape. The smaller aizoüm grows on walls, ruins, and roof-tiles; it is bushy from the root and leafy to the top, with narrow, pointed and juicy leaves, and a stem a span high. The root is not used.

CIII. Resembling this is a plant that the Greeks Andrachle for the eyes, etc. call wild andrachle, the Italians inlecebra. It has very small leaves, but broader than those of aizoüm, and the head is shorter It grows in rocky districts and is gathered for food. All these have the same properties; they are cooling and astringent.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938